Planning permission for houses in multiple occupation
Planning permission is not normally required to convert a family house into a shared house or a house in multiple occupation (HMO) for up to six people.
However, in some areas we've introduced Article 4 Directions which remove this permitted development right. That means in those areas you need planning permission to change the use of any home to an HMO.
The first HMO Article 4 Direction came into force on 20 August 2014 and a later HMO Article 4 Direction covering a greater area of the city came into force on17 February 2023. Within the areas covered by these Directions, any house that was already in multiple occupation use before the relevant effective date can continue to be used as a shared house.
You can view the Article 4 Directions by opening the attachments at the bottom of this page. Maps of the areas affected are also contained in the Article 4 Direction documents.
Alternatively, you can see if you are affected by using our web mapping system.
If you are a landlord, you should be aware that licensing may also be needed for your HMO property. You can find out more about licensing requirements on the Landlords webpage.
The 2021 Direction as made contained obviously mistaken text. The text below indicates what the 2021 Direction was intended to say and what it obviously means and should have said and is provided to avoid any scope for confusion*. The original 2021 Direction appends a note confirming the corrected text after the original text.
*Words underlined are added, and words struck-through are to be disregarded. What follows is not a complete version of the Direction. Only the relevant extract (Schedule 1) is reproduced here. Schedule 2 remains intact as published and requires no clarification.
TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (GENERAL PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT (ENGLAND) ORDER 2015 (AS AMENDED)
DIRECTION MADE UNDER ARTICLE 4(1) OF THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (GENERAL PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT) (ENGLAND) ORDER 2015 (AS AMENDED)
LEICESTER CITY COUNCIL HMO ARTICLE 4 DIRECTION 2021 ("the Direction")
WHEREAS LEICESTER CITY COUNCIL (hereafter called "the Council") being the appropriate local planning authority within the meaning of article 4(5) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 ("the Order") are satisfied that it is expedient that development of the descriptions set out in Schedule 1 below should not be carried out within the Land and/or properties shown edged red on the attached plans at Schedule 2 ("the Land") unless planning permission is granted on an application under Part III of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended.
For the avoidance of doubt the Leicester City Council HMO Article 4 Direction 2021 shall apply to the following 3 areas:-
- Sub-Area —West
- Sub-Area —East
- Sub-Area —South
The following areas covered by the Article 4 Direction made on 8th August 2013 remain unchanged by the Direction:-
- Clarendon Park
- Central area
AND WHEREAS the Council considers that development of the said descriptions set out in the Schedule below should not be carried out unless permission is granted by an application made under Part III of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.
NOW THEREFORE the said Council in pursuance of the power conferred on them by article 4(1) of the Order hereby direct that the permission granted by article 3 of the said Order shall not apply to development on the said land of the description(s) set out in Schedule 1.
THIS LEICESTER CITY COUNCIL HMO ARTICLE 4 DIRECTION 2021 was made on 16th November 2021 under Article 4(1) Section 1 of the said Order. In accordance with Paragraphs 1(11) and 1(12) of the Order, the Council confirmed the Article 4(1) Direction on 18th November 2022 and shall take effect on 28th November 2022
Development consisting of a change of use of a building from a use falling within Class C3 (dwellinghouses) of the Schedule of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) to a use falling within Class C4 (houses in multiple occupation) of that Schedule, being development comprised within Class L(b) of Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended). Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) to a use falling within Class C4 (houses in multiple occupation) of that Schedule, being development comprised within any other Class.